Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Janice Scroggins Plays Scott Joplin
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Classical
This is a rendition of Scott Joplin's famous rags which stands out for its adherence to the composer's instruction that ragtime is "never to be played fast." Unlike the speeded-up ragtime performance style we like to call... more »
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This is a rendition of Scott Joplin's famous rags which stands out for its adherence to the composer's instruction that ragtime is "never to be played fast." Unlike the speeded-up ragtime performance style we like to call the "forty cups of coffee" style, Janice Scroggins delivers the music at a deliciously deliberate tempo, with a few extra flourishes on the left hand which, though not written into the page by the composer, are nonetheless faithful to Joplin's style. She also contributes an entirely original introduction to the "Maple Leaf Rag."
"It is never right to play ragtime fast"
Stephen M. Amy | Portland, OR United States | 07/02/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Familiar tunes sounding not at all hackneyed (quite an accomplishment in the case of "The Entertainer"- I had this disc on- was listening to Janice play "The Entertainer"- an ice-cream truck drove by my open window- ice cream truck was blasting rinky-tink "The Entertainer" at fast tempo and without nuance).Janice phrases this music with great dramatic skill. The complimentary themes of rag are presented as a tension-release to the buildup of the previous theme. Enthralling.This is a performance of great taste. And the compositions are, of course, immortal."
A Ragtime Treat!
"Gimpy" Peach Johnson | 02/20/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The other reviewer here is spot-on. Scroggins interprets these Joplin pieces in her own refreshing way. This is not speedy honky-tonk ragtime, nor is it academic Rifkin-style ragtime. Scroggins draws upon her roots in gospel and church music to give these ragtime classics interesting new twists, taking liberties with rhythms and notes. That may sound like a recipe for disaster to some ragtime purists--and if you insist that Joplin must be played exactly as written, this may not be the disc for you. However, if you can approach this with a more open mind, you'll find plenty to enjoy here. Scroggins' often subtle changes are a real delight, and completely changed the way I perceive some of these pieces (after hearing the flatted seventh she plays in the C section right-hand arpeggios of "The Easy Winners," I'll never hear that piece the same way again!). She has her own kind of left hand bluesy "roll" that is very effetive in most pieces. She takes the pieces s-l-o-w-l-y, but in doing so, gives the listener a chance to really appreciate the harmonic and rhythmic intricacies. And please don't equate slow with boring. Scroggins is not boring! I've collected recordings of Scott Joplin rags for a dozen years and have hundreds of all- or mostly-Joplin LPs and CDs in my collection. Most tend to be rather unremarkable, but Scroggins's album is one that truly stands out. I've listened to this one dozens of times (more than I can say for most of the other Joplin albums I have) and still get something out of it with each playing. I only wish it included more pieces. Maybe she will get around to doing a second volume some day? This shouldn't be a first or only Joplin disc. If you're just getting into Scott Joplin's music, I'd recommend Joshua Rifkin's classic recordings. However, once you have the prerequisite "straightforward" Joplin recordings, branch out and give this a try. Having more than a passing familiarity with these pieces as Joplin wrote them first will help you appreciate Scroggins's interpretations much more. Hopefully, you'll be pleasantly surprised as I was. Recommended."